São Paulo — Jair Bolsonaro said the words investors wanted to hear. Brazil’s next president pledged to trim the deficit, pay down debt and reduce the size of government after results showed him cruising to victory over Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party. An American depositary receipt of Petroleo Brasileiro trading in pre-market hours jumped 8%, while the biggest overseas exchange-traded fund (ETF), the iShares MSCI Brazil ETF, added 5.6%. Sovereign bonds trading on European exchanges gained.

Brazilian assets are the world’s best performers since polls in mid-September showed the conservative legislator and former army captain ascending in polls. The comments from Bolsonaro should damp down any scepticism that he wasn’t fully committed to pension and tax overhauls — which lingered since the candidate himself often professed an ignorance when it came to economics — pleasing investors who had abandoned Latin America’s largest economy over the past several years as f...

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